Not matching makeup color with skin tone can result biggest makeup disaster. Makeup is all about finding the right shades for right skin tones. Understanding the real color of your skin is must before buying foundation shade.
When you are shopping for foundation, you have probably heard the terms “cool,” “warm,” or “neutral” describing look of shade on skin. Those terms refer to your skin’s undertone and are used to determine which foundation shade will match it the best.
Undertone is the term used for that subtle, more muted color that lies underneath the skin. You can think of it as a “shadow” that is always there. While the surface color may change, the undertone stays the same, regardless.
There are three classifications for undertones: warm, cool, and neutral. These are the colors that come through your skin from underneath the surface to affect its overall hue. It is not about how light or dark your skin is; people of all skin colors, from very fair to deep, have cool, warm, or neutral undertones. Here is what each of these terms means:
Cool: your skin has hints of bluish, pink or ruddy complexion.
Warm: your skin will lean peachy, sallow, yellow or golden.
Neutral: Has no obvious overtones of pink or sallow skin, but rather the skin’s natural color is more evident. Think olive or a mix of those above.
How do you determine your skin tone and undertone?
Since these are undertones, they are harder to detect than the general surface color of your skin. You cannot possibly tell by looking at yourself that you have medium skin tones with red undertones or a deep skin tone with yellow undertones. So how do you figure out the undertone skin? Here are some clues:
1. Check color of your veins: Check out the insides of your wrists. Do your veins appear blue or green? If they lean on bluish or deeper purple, you are cool-toned. If that’s greenish, you are warm-toned. If you have trouble discerning the color, you probably lean neutral.
2. Does your skin burn or tan? Have a meeting with Mr. Sun. If you burn easily or turn pink, you are cool-toned. If you tan, you’re warm-toned. Don’t forget to wear your sunscreen!
3. What are your eye and hair colors? Usually those with golden brown, green, hazel with gold flecks and blue eyes and with strawberry blonde, auburn or black hair that has gold tones are warm-toned. Those with black or deep brown, steel blue, hazel with grey or blue flecks, grey eyes with blonde and brown or black hair that has platinum tones are cool toned. If the gold/silver test was inconclusive with your skin, try it with your hair.
4. Look behind your ears. Ask a friend to look at the skin just behind your ear. Yellowish means warm, pink or rosy means cool and if they can’t tell, then neutral.
5. Gold or silver: Which suits you best? Personal preferences aside, if gold jewelry flatters you most, you are warm-toned. If silver/platinum jewelry accentuates you best, you care cool-toned.
6. Which colors look best in you? Are there certain colors in which you look better? Cool tones look good in deep, vibrant colors, such as blue, purple, and emerald-green. Warm tones glow in earth tones like red, orange, yellow, and olive-green. If you can wear both shades, you have neutral undertones.
Now you are aware about your skin undertones so simply buying foundations that says “cool” or “warm” may not be best suit or flattering choice for you. For instance, some foundations labeled cool toned can end up making skin look overly pink, and those labeled warm can skew toward overly yellow.
Beauty brands are offering more and more color options so we can have the closest and best possible matches. But with all these new choices available for us, it is easier to get it wrong. The goal is to select neutral foundation shades that have only the slightest hint of your skin’s undertone. You never want your foundation to be too pink or too yellow or too ashen.